What Is Natural Disasters

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natrual Disaster & Its Types | Top Natural Disasters | Name Natural Disasters12 min read

What are Natural Disasters?

Any adverse event occurring due to nature is called a Natural Disaster, in other words, you can consider any negative event which is caused by a natural process like geological activity or climate as a natural disaster.

Sometimes natural disasters damage the majorly of human life and property and sometimes they affect the minor that is totally dependent on the geological or environmental process. There are different types of natural disasters that occur on earth.


Types of Natural Disasters

The followings are types of natural disasters,

  • Avalanches
  • Cold Waves
  • Droughts
  • Earthquakes
  • Flood
  • Hailstorms
  • Ice Storms
  • Landslides
  • Mudslides
  • Sinkholes
  • Subsidence
  • Thunderstorms
  • Heat waves
  • Tornadoes
  • Tsunamis
  • Tropical cyclone
  • Volcanic Eruptions
  • Wildfires

Here, we discuss different types of natural disasters,

1. Avalanches

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Avalanches

An avalanche is a mass of ice or mass snow which falls, tumbling or sliding rapidly on an inclined surface, such as a mountainside or the roof of a building. It is also called snow slides. The avalanches are triggered by natural forces and some human activity such as

  • Rapid temperature changes
  • Precipitation
  • wind drifting snow
  • Warm temperature
  • Steep slope
  • Layers of snow
  • Vibration
  • Heavy snowfall
  • Human activity
  • Snowstorm

Types of Avalanches

  • Wet Avalanches
  • Slush Avalanches
  • Glide Avalanches
  • Cornice fall Avalanches
  • Icefall Avalanches
  • Loose snow Avalanches
  • Slab Avalanches

How to avoid avalanches?

Avoid Steep slopes: Avoid steep slopes with a pitch greater than 25 degrees.

Watch for cracks: Watch for cracks that have sheared off.

Hiking after a storm: After a storm immediately avoid hiking, most avalanches are occurring at the time of heavy snowfall.

Stay to the ridge of the windward side: Stay on the windward side of a gently sloping ridge, the snow is usually thinner there.

Digging the snow pit: With the use of a shovel to dig the snow pit.


2. Drought

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Drought

Drought is technically defined as an extended period of drier than normal conditions that lead to a lack of water and other water-related problem. Human activities like irrigation, farming, or domestic uses of water are highly impacted during the drought.

During the drought means dry and hot weather period, you can easily observe dry and cracked earth surface, dry out water area or reservoir, etc.

The drought majorly impacts various factors like economic, migration of people, loss of humans, social impact, government losses, the impact on the environment, reduction the crop yield, etc. This is one of the impactful types of natural disasters.

Types of Drought

  • Metrological Drought
  • Agricultural Drought
  • Ecological Drought
  • Socioeconomic Drought
  • Hydrological Drought

Causes of Drought

  • Natural Causes
  • Excess Water demand
  • Deforestation
  • Soil Degradation
  • Global warming
  • Human Causes
  • Rainfall or precipitation deficiency

3. Floods

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Flood

Flood occurs due to the overflow of river, lake, or ocean onto land that is generally dry, and sometimes too much rain or melting of snow is the main reason for the flood.

Usually in India flood comes when rainfall and the soil soak the water as a sponge, but when the soil is not able to soak more water then it sends extra water into the river or surrounding any water body.

Causes of Floods

  • Clogged Drainage
  • Melting Glaciers
  • Dam breakage
  • Coastal Flooding
  • Heavy Rainfall
  • Climate Changing

Read More: Environmental Impact Assessment | What Is EIA | EIA Process | Importance of EIA | Objectives of EIA | Limitations of EIA Process


4. Earthquakes

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Earthquake

It is one of the most unpredictable natural disasters, that occurs due to sudden and violent slippage or movement of the earth’s tectonic plates, where the surface of the earth is shaken and that movement is called an earthquake.

Earthquake zone means that earth parts where majorly the earthquakes occur. It is also known as a seismic zone or earthquake bets and the earthquake is measured with the use of a seismograph, that instrument record the duration of the earthquake, force, etc.

In India total of five earthquake zones are,

  • Zone-5– Highly prone to earthquake- Punjab, Kashmir, and North East India.
  • Zone-4– Parts of Delhi, Jammu, Bihar
  • Zone-3– Moderate damage or Risk- Western Himalayan plain, Andaman, and Nicobar islands.
  • Zone-2 and 1– Low damage or risk.

Types of Earthquake

  • Tectonic Earthquake
  • Volcanic Earthquake
  • Explosion Earthquake
  • Collapse Earthquake

5. Heat Waves

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Heatwave

Heat waves are extremely dangerous weather conditions where temperatures soar well above 90 degrees F. This high heat combines with a high level of humidity and then creates a heat bubble over a certain area for an extended period of time.

In other words, the danger of a heat wave is the risk of severe dehydration it can lead to a life-threatening condition called a heat stroke.


6. Tsunamis

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Tsunami

A Tsunami is a giant kind of water wave due to volcanic eruption and earthquake under the sea, out in the depths of the ocean, tsunami waves do not dramatically increase in height.

The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth rather than the distance from the source of the wave, the tsunami is also known as tidal waves.

The tsunami wave start traveling and they continue reaching greater heights; this phenomenon takes a bigger shape when the ocean depth is fairly low.

The tsunami can travel up to 805 km/hrs almost as fast as a jet plane. 80% OF Tsunami occur in the Pacific Ocean, and are called “Rings of fire”

Causes of Tsunami

  • Underwater Landslides
  • Earthquake
  • Strong Volcanic Eruption
  • Collision from meteorites

Types of Tsunami

  • Local Tsunami
  • Regional Tsunami
  • Distant Tsunami

7. Tropical Cyclone

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Cyclon

A tropical cyclone means it is a rapidly rotating storm that forms over tropical areas where there is plenty of warm water and moist air, these storms develop into a massive low-pressure system that brings winds, heavy rain, and spectacular storm surge to inland and coastal areas, it is also known as typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes.

8. Landslide

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Landslide

Landslide means any large-scale movement of a mass of rock, a mass of debris down a slope, also something called a “massive wasting”, these landslides are quite frequent in certain parts of the world and it is depending upon their size, also they have the ability for wreaking massive amount of destruction.

A landslide can be occurring due to a wide range of events such as earthquakes, heavy rains, volcanic eruptions, etc. Scientists can be able to forecast the landslide but do not able to exact the time of the landslide because many factors affect the formation of a landslide.


9. Volcanic Eruption

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic eruption means an opening along the crust of the earth where lava, ash, and gases can escape. When this material escape from the opening on the planet’s surface, creates a volcanic eruption like natural disasters.

Causes of Volcanic Eruption

Weak Zones in the crust of earth: the parts of the earth where two tectonic plates collide against or drift apart from each other are considered very weak, Volcanoes may erupt in a zone.

The magma saturated with gases: in the interior of the earth, the magma is often found saturated with gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

These gases together with water vapor make magma highly explosive. Magma is forced out as lava on the surface of the earth due to the pressure exerted by this gas.

Types of Volcanic Eruption

  • Active Volcanic Eruption
  • Dormant Volcanic Eruption
  • Extinct Volcanic Eruption

10. Thunderstorms

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Thunderstorm

Basically, the thunderstorm is characterized by thunder and lighting, it is also known as lighting storms, electrical storms, and thundershowers.

The thunderstorms are caused by an updraft which occurs when moist air and warm air rise up into the atmosphere, then the updraft forms a cumulus cloud that eventually becomes a thunderstorm cloud. Thunderstorm natural disasters are generally accompanied by strong and heavy wind at times, snow, sleet, or hail.

Formation stages of Thunderstorms

  • A cumulus stage – storm clouds form
  • A mature stage – a storm is completely formed
  • A dissipating stage – storm weakens, breaking apart

Types of Thunderstorms

  • Single-cell Thunderstorm
  • Multicell Thunderstorm
  • Supercell Thunderstorm

Read More: What Is Precipitation | Type of Precipitation | Cyclonic Precipitation | Measurement of Precipitation | Rain Gauge | Orographic Rainfall


11. Subsidence

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Land Subsidence

Subsidence is one type of natural disasters which is pretty similar to sinkholes but with a little bit of twist, it is formed as groundwater dissolves the bedrock, subsidence happens when large amounts of groundwater are depleted from the bedrock.

This water loss sort is common in that area where use large amounts of water is used for irrigation purpose, recreational purpose, etc, over time the water loss causes the ground to literally fall on itself, lowering the elevation over time.


12. Sinkholes

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Sinkhole

Sinkholes as the name suggest form below the land surface without external draining, generally, the size of a sinkhole is more than 100 feet.

Usually, it happens in the bedrock area which is made up of soluble material like salt beds, carbonate rock, limestone, etc. as groundwater seeps under the bedrock and it slowly dissolves the rock and creates a hole inside the ground.

The formation of a sinkhole is depending upon various factors like the underlying bedrock of that area, soil characteristics, and many more. Particularly the state of Florida is called for sinkholes, but there is no prediction completely using current technology.

Causes of Sinkhole

  • Weather
  • Surface water
  • Changes in the hydrological cycle
  • Earthquake
  • Heavy rainfall after a drought
  • Due to major cracks in that particular area

Types of Sinkholes Natural Disasters

  • Solution Sinkhole
  • Cover collapse sink hole
  • Cover Subsidence Sinkhole

13. Hailstorms

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Hailstorm

A hail storm is formed when water drops freeze together in thunderstorm clouds and cold upper regions, These ice chunks are called hailstones, and this hailstone falling process is known as a hail storm.

The diameter of hailstones is 5 centimeters to 15 centimeters and they can be round or jagged in shape.

Damage due to Hailstorms

  • Destruction of property
  • Damage of crop
  • Injuries to human and animal

Measures to prevent

  • Ant hail nets
  • Better weather prediction
  • Hail Canons

14. Ice Strom

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Ice Strom

An ice storm is caused by freezing rain that is accumulated on the ground or exposed surface with up to 25” of ice. Freezing rain occurs when the layer of cold freezing air between two layers of warm air, as snowflakes fall from the sky and move through that warm layer of air, they melt into the rain drops.


15. Cold Wave

18 Types of Natural Disasters | What Is Natural Disaster & Its Types
Coldwave

According to IMD (Indian metrological Department) when the minimum temperature falls down 4.5 degrees Celsius rapidly over 24 hours, and core cold wave zone means it frequently witnesses cold waves from time to time.

The following are part of the core cold wave zone,

  • Bihar
  • Delhi
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jharkhand
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Odisha
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Telangana
  • Uttarakhand
  • Uttarpradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Chhattisgarh

Causes of Cold Wave

  • Absence of Cloud
  • Himalayan Snowfall
  • Subsidence

Read More: What Is Precipitation | Type of Precipitation | Cyclonic Precipitation | Measurement of Precipitation | Rain Gauge | Orographic Rainfall


FAQs:

. are Natural Disasters?

Any adverse event occurring due to nature is called a natural disaster, in other words, you can consider any negative event which is caused by a natural process like geological activity or climate as a natural disaster.

What are the Types of Natural Disasters?

The following are major types of natural disasters,
1. Avalanches
2. Cold Waves
3. Droughts
4. Earthquakes
5. Flood
6. Hailstorms
7. Ice Storms
8. Landslides
9. Mudslides
10. Sinkholes
11. Subsidence
12. Thunderstorms
13. Heat waves
14. Tornadoes
15. Tsunamis
16. Tropical cyclone
17. Volcanic Eruptions
18. Wildfires

What is a Volcanic Eruption?

Volcanic eruption means an opening along the crust of the earth where lava, ash, and gases can escape. When this material escape from the opening on the planet’s surface, creates a volcanic eruption.

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